The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a new flight restriction Thursday following viral drone footage showing thousands of migrants flowing over the border, then quickly clarified the rule to concerned reporters.
The FAA issued a two-week temporary flight restriction Thursday over the international bridge in Del Rio, Texas, citing “special security reasons.”
Fox News National Correspondent Bill Melugin had shared drone footage earlier in the day showing approximately 8,200 migrants waiting under the bridge for processing. Melugin said border patrol was overwhelmed and the situation is “out of control.”
BREAKING: Our drone is back over the international bridge in Del Rio, TX. Per source, the number of migrants waiting to be processed has now swelled to approx 8,200. It was 4,000 yesterday AM. Doubled in one day. BP overwhelmed, & I’m told situation is “out of control” @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/ThJJJ0JWCT
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) September 16, 2021
A majority of the migrants waiting under the bridge are Haitian, according to Melugin, who cited a law enforcement officer. Melugin said he has used a drone to cover the border crisis for months and “it has never been an issue.” Fox News pointed the Daily Caller to Melugin’s Friday morning briefing where he said the outlet’s drone was still flying, however not near the international bridge.
The FAA said Friday Fox News applied for clearance and is now allowed to operate their drone in the area through the end of September.
Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton criticized the FAA’s rule.
“What a coincidence. The FAA better be ready to explain to Congress why they’re suddenly blocking the media from covering Biden’s border crisis.”
What a coincidence.
The FAA better be ready to explain to Congress why they’re suddenly blocking the media from covering Biden’s border crisis. https://t.co/fd2y7G8RRg
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) September 17, 2021
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced early Thursday all Del Rio, Texas, points of entry would be closed due to the migrant situation. (RELATED: Chad Wolf Rips Biden Admin For ‘Astronomical’ Border Encounters, Warns There’s ‘No End In Sight’)
“The sheer negligence of the Biden Administration to do their job and secure the border is appalling,” Abbott said in a statement.
Abbott later released another statement reversing his decision, blaming the Biden Administration for having “flip-flopped to a different strategy that abandons border security and instead makes it easier for people to cross illegally and for cartels to exploit the border.”
“I have directed the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to maintain their presence at and around ports of entry to deter crossings.”
The Daily Caller has reached out to the FAA but did not receive a response at the time of publication.